29 April 2010

Amoklauf in China

The news that a man with a knife went on a rampage in a Chinese kindergarten and wounded 28 kids as well as staff, and the fact that this wasn't the first such attack in recent times, is fair game for those gun-rights advocates who note that violent people will find other ways of doing violence if they can't get guns. Their position is that violent or immoral tendencies, not the existence of any particular type of weapon, are the real cause of violence, and that banning any type of gun will not end violence against innocent people. The only argument worth making against this position is to point out that, as of this writing, none of this madman's victims are dead, and most will survive. Imagine if he had an automatic. The argument against gun culture in America isn't about suppressing violence; it's about limiting the damage violent people can cause.

6 comments:

hobbyfan said...

What bothers me more is that small, innocent children just starting school, are being stabbed just because they present an available target for a wackjob. Tack on the fact that this is the first most of us known about the earlier mass stabbings in China, and you wonder why they'd sweep a tragedy under the rug.......

Crhymethinc said...

What bothers me about this sort of thing is that governments will spend billions of dollars a year researching newer and more efficient ways of slaughtering masses of humans, but they put no money towards research towards finding a way to weed out sociopaths. Is it a genetic defect? Is it something in the way these people are raised as children? Is there a commonality that can be quantified? Since those at the top of the "food chain" are generally well protected from this sort of thing, they will do little to protect the rest of us.

Samuel Wilson said...

Meanwhile, the fad continues. The radio reported this morning that a man went into another school and laid into the kids with a hammer before setting himself on fire.

It wouldn't surprise me if the Chinese have embarked on research along the lines Crhymethinc suggests, but I'm not so certain that sociopathy can ever be weeded out completely. I'm pessimistic enough to believe that people can become that way without showing any genetic red flags beforehand. In at least some cases, society may be to blame.

As for Chinese coverage of the attacks, since they're our source, I'd suggest that the news hasn't been swept under the rug, or at least not in the way they might have been 30 or 40 years ago. Under Chairman Mao the outside world would most likely never have heard of these outbursts. The openness with which the Chinese are reporting them now may mean that they don't think they're "political" in nature, but that all depends on where you draw the line.

hobbyfan said...

I don't think genetics has anything to do with it at all.

Instead, it's a case of frustration built from either an inability to land a job or being fired from one (common cause), or, in the case of a lot of the school-age attackers dating back to Columbine, total disenchantment with established society. Most of these guys know what they're doing to a point. The one that set himself on fire falls into the same category as most of these amoklauf attackers here in the US. They try to kill themselves to avoid prosecution and jail. As if they're taking a safe way out, and they're not.....

Crhymethinc said...

I wasn't talking only of genetics. That was merely one possibility. Behavioral patterns could also be an indicator. My point being that there must be a commonality that, if discovered, could lead to a better way of detecting sociopaths other than to wait until they strike. My other point being that most governments seem more concerned with creating ways of dealing death than with saving lives.

Samuel Wilson said...

I suppose it's worth inquiring into whether a behavior pattern signalling amoklauf potential can be detected, but I reserve the right to remain skeptical. I'd agree, though, that such an inquiry might prove less wasteful than the latest weapons program.